Two PDVSA oil tankers are stranded in the Caribbean as we speak. The reason is both funnier and more absurd than you’d believe. Apparently, as El Pitazo reports, the boats are unable to move because their hull is stained with oil, which International Maritime Law prohibits as an environmental protection. PDVSA is unable to pay the cleaning agencies which would take care of its tankers because it, well, has no money.

In this spirit, the governor has asked SEBIN to investigate whether the fall of the bridge was the product of sabotage. He also publicly announced the opening of an alternative road, a trocha, hours before it was actually ready, leaving varguenses to a long, unpleasant wait in traffic

Meanwhile, the people of Vargas state experienced their own form of being stranded. After the collapse of the Guanape bridge, governor García Carneiro has followed through on the textbook Chavista response to any crisis. First: blame a fictitious external cause. Second, promise false solutions. In this spirit, the governor has asked SEBIN to investigate whether the fall of the bridge was the product of sabotage.

He also publicly announced the opening of an alternative road, a trocha, hours before it was actually ready, leaving varguenses to a long, unpleasant wait in traffic. In response, Universidad Simón Bolívar’s coastal nucleus has suspended classes hasta nuevo aviso.

Law and Power

When she returned, she found that both her husband and her son had been killed by the officers, who claimed that they “had escaped and were shooting from the mountain”. Witnesses reported it as an execution, the victims taking the shots while kneeling

Totalitarians will always persecute their opposition, but they’ll double up on those who’ve switched sides. Such is the current case of General Raúl Isaías Baduel. A member or MBR 200 since the late 80’s, Baduel was at one time a close lieutenant of El Comandante. Things have changed, and after being accused of conspiracy and corruption a few times, he was finally imprisoned for treason and incitement to conspiracy. He’s been confined to a punishment cell in Ramo Verde since January 21, his lawyer -unable to see him- report.

Another tragic story comes courtesy of CICPC. Yamileth Arráiz had her life changed in a few hours, reports Efecto Cocuyo. CICPC officials walked armed into her house and immediately forced all adults to the floor, taking the children outside. After aggressive and misguided questions about a leased parking spot, Yamileth was taken outside. When she returned, she found that both her husband and her son had been killed by the officers, who claimed that they “had escaped and were shooting from the mountain”. Witnesses reported it as an execution, the victims taking the shots while kneeling. The community of Araira, Miranda state has rallied behind Yamileth and against the CICPC’s abuses, but what’s done is done.

Patria

El Pitazo conducted an informal poll on the Carnet de la Patria. A few of those consulted did say things such as “it’s necessary for us to make sure who is and isn’t with the revolution”. Most, however, saw it for what it is. The phrases “populism at its utmost” and “control mechanism” were among the remarks of those polled. Overall, it seems that the population isn’t all for yet another way to tag people. And anyways, what’s the cédula for then?

The National Assembly held its session for January 26th in an irregular location: Petare. Lawmakers decided to make Polideportivo Mesuca the seat of the Legislative Branch for a day, as they were discussing the Ley de Barrios, and saw it more fit to connect directly to those affected.

It wasn’t all friendly, though. The smell of tear gas spread through the session, presumably the result of Polisucre’s dispersion of a group of motorizados, which wound up frightening even the President, Julio Borges. The session was ended, and lawmakers proceeded to leave the premises, but not without first making sure it was understood how important they considered it to hold sessions in the heart of the barrio.

Smoke and Mirrors

Never mind the thousands of real issues on the floor, Diosdado takes it as his priority to defend the honour of the late Comandante. Again, this is totalitarianism 101. And I, for one, don’t intend to let Chávez become by “big brother”

Let us not forget that, by the end of 2016, we were supposed to have regional elections and a recall referendum. Not because the government is good or bad, but because the Constitution states as much. Such is the reminder of the Red de Observación Electoral, which gravely accuses the National Electoral Council of “freezing the right to vote”. Elections are supposed to be held sometime this year, but the whole affair remains a question mark.

Ernesto Samper, on behalf of UNASUR, said yesterday that they’re hoping for a reactivation of dialogue in Venezuela, specially of mutual recognition of the parts. I’m not sure whether there are some actual good intentions by anyone in that particular room, but I’ve no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of these declarations are dripping with cynicism.

On what’s just one more step too far, Diosdado Cabello decided to spearhead a campaign against speaking ill of the Comandante; “aquí no se habla mal de Chávez. Never mind the thousands of real issues on the floor, Diosdado takes it as his priority to defend the honour of the late Comandante. Again, this is totalitarianism 101. And I, for one, don’t intend to let Chávez become by “big brother”.

Finally, on a happy note, a big congratulations to the Águilas del Zulia. Cheers to you and to the Chinita.

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Carlos is a Law and Liberal Arts student at Universidad Metropolitana, and a teacher of Philosophy, Entrepreneurship, and Public Speaking at Instituto Cumbres de Caracas. MetroMUNer (@MetroMUN) and VOXista (@voxistas). But really, he’s just an overcompensating, failed singer-songwriter.

1 COMMENT

  1. “it’s necessary for us to make sure who is and isn’t with the revolution”.

    “Those who are not chavistas are not venezuelans” said the rotten corpse during his last campaign in 2012.

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